Beyond Belief Network teams end 2014 with strong service events


Foundation Beyond Belief’s Beyond Belief Network is a network of secular humanist groups volunteering in their communities and raising money for FBB’s featured charities and programs. Any group with a public secular humanist or atheist identity is welcome to join, regardless of experience or group size.

AA4AA5Austin Atheists Helping the Homeless hosted their final collection drive and giveaway for the year. Between November 17 and December 14, ATXAHH collected more than $3,500 in donations from the community. From their records, they've calculated that between May 2014 and December 2014, they've collected nearly $26,300 in donations! They were also mentioned in the Austin Chronicle's community organization Wish List. ATXAHH's Gettin' Knotty Guild also provided 68 handmade items to distribute at the monthly giveaway. Some items included knitted washcloths, hats, and scarves, and no-sew fleece scarves. The team continues to collect items for their Warmth Drive.

On December 14, 2014, twenty-seven individuals, including seven new volunteers, gathered to distribute basic living items and clothing to people who are street dependent and poverty-stricken in downtown Austin. ATXAHH served 144 people in 50 minutes. ATXAHH holds the distinction as being one of our strongest Level 3 Beyond Belief Network teams in 2014.

MA1Minnesota Atheists, a Level 2 team, hosted a toy drive benefiting Children's Hospital of Minnesota. Sixteen volunteers contributed $1,000 worth of toys, books, games, and other items. The hospital staff were thrilled with the donations. MA also packed 223 holiday food boxes at The Food Group, a local food bank. That’s enough to feed 892 people! The packed food will be distributed to various food shelves throughout Minneapolis-St.Paul, Minnesota.

COUNT2COUNT3COUNT1For a third year, Columbus Coalition of Reason hosted its Annual Flying Spaghetti Monster (FSM) Benefit Dinner. They successfully topped last year's results. Local humanist, atheist, and skeptic groups collected 350 pounds of food and raised $2,618.21 for the Mid-Ohio Foodbank. Thirty-one volunteers, representing CCR's member groups, prepared the dinner. They served 149 diners. This fun-filled event featured a raffle and silent auction of items donated by 28 area businesses and local artists/donors. Musicians alternated with raffle drawings to entertain diners, and there were activities for children. Central Ohio United Non-Theists (COUNT), a CCR member group and Level 3 BBN team, handled project management and post-event activity. COUNT provided nine volunteers at the event. Six COUNT members also volunteered as housewarmers a total of 27.1 hours in November 2014 at the Columbus Ronald McDonald House (RMH). RMH provides housing and meals to families with children being treated at Nationwide Children’s Hospital and other area hospitals. Housewarmers work with guests to provide a home-like environment. Their duties include greeting guests, assisting with family needs, answering phones, giving tours, assisting with check-in/check-out, preparing guest rooms after check-out, cleaning the facility, laundry, restocking supplies, and staffing the front desk. COUNT's ten housewarmers try to volunteer at least one four-hour shift a month and have contributed 432 hours to date.

PA1Last, but certainly not least, Pennsylvania Nonbelievers have been busy throughout the year! During the spring and summer, PN members worked the concession stand at York Revolution Minor League Baseball games in York, PA, to raise funds for the Margaret E. Moul Home's "Residents' Dream Trip Fund." Also, eight members of Pennsylvania Nonbelievers participated in the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's Light the Night Walk, held at the Clipper Stadium and grounds in the fall. They raised $455.00. Pennsylvania Nonbelievers currently stand at Level 1.

To all of our Beyond Belief Network teams, we at BBN have been so inspired by all of your service events, great and small, throughout 2014! We can’t wait to see what you’ll do in 2015!

If you are a member of a secular humanist or atheist group and would like to participate in community service projects under the national umbrella of Foundation Beyond Belief, join Beyond Belief Network. We welcome all atheist groups interested in service, from groups with extensive volunteer experience to newly formed groups new to secular service. By aggregating our efforts, we demonstrate that all we really need is charity and goodness to make the world a better place.